Originally Posted by TillyPeeps
173! Lots of happy costumers. I thought your bielefelders have the worst hatch rate, Welsummer seems even worse. I thought it's because of inbreeding, but many other breeders have good hatch rate even when inbreeding. So it's many depends on individual roos?
By the way, every chick is doing great. The Rhodebar, Rhodefelder, and sexlink girls will fly on my hand or arm themselves for cuddling. Molly the regular CCL will let me pet her. Dolly the Rees CCL and Penny the Welbar are more flighty and only come to get treats from my hand. Of course, I didn't handle Penny too much since she is so tiny and was not doing well.
I have some theories about the fertility. I had good hatches before, so maybe the incubating conditions favor certain breeds like Legbars. All those pens have multiple roos, so maybe some contention for mating rights? But the Legbars have 2 roos and they hatch well.
Seems less about fertility and more about hatchability, so maybe diet or other conditions of the parents. I started giving more treats recently (little more daylight after work and loitering in the pens is more enjoyable now than when it was 8 degrees!). Plus, I recently was gifted with some bags of treats (my chickens are delighted, BTW, thank you).
I want to focus on making some smaller chicken tractors suitable for small breeding groups. Once I can get those special birds out on grass, I think they will perk up a lot.